A favorite Christmas carol (Joy To The World) has a line that says – “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Try to imagine that some special guest is coming to your house and you are trying to prepare room for them in your home. Where will they sleep? What will you feed them? When a special guest comes, you may look at your home with new eyes. You see the furniture that needs repair, or the dirt on the wall. You notice that there is dust on floor and papers all over the kitchen counter.
Now share with your partners when you have had a guest in your home that you had to prepare for. Who was that guest? What did you prepare? Were you worried or calm? Why? What guests make you the most nervous to prepare for? What guests are the most fun to have in your home?
When you prepare for something or someone, do you do a lot of things at the last minute? Do you rush (or panic) at the end? Or do you do preparations in advance so that you can be more relaxed as the special time comes? Give examples of how you do things.
When you yourself are the guest – how do you want your host to prepare for you? Be honest now! What kinds of things make you feel at home or welcome as a guest? What kind of relationship do you want with your host?
Here are two styles of having guests in your home:
1) take care of all their needs for them, make sure there are towels and soap in the bathroom, don’t let them help with cooking or dishes and try to make sure they have interesting activities all the time. Treat your guest like a person of great honor.
2) point your guests to the towel closet, the refrigerator and the pantry and encourage them to help themselves as needed. Ask your guest to join in the cooking, table-setting or dishwashing. Treat the guest like a family member.
Please describe the pros and cons of each of these styles. Which style works best for you as a host or a guest? Or do you prefer a mix of these styles? Explain your preferences and use lots of examples!
There are times when we have to “prepare room in our hearts” for someone – a new brother or sister, or perhaps a new sister-in-law or brother-in-law or mother-in-law. Give examples of this process from your life.
Please look at the words to “Joy To The World.” What do you think it means to prepare room for Jesus in the heart? Think of Jesus from many angles – a king, a friend, a brother, a boss, a teacher, a healer, a god, the god above all other gods. How does the way you view someone affect how you prepare room in your heart?